Yesterday we took a trip west to an upland area, other than that frequented by many other birders in the region, to look for Goshawks.
We arrived far too early as the birds don't get up and about usually until after 11am, but it was a lovely morning and the Skylarks were singing. Three Roe Deer, a doe and two year old youngsters, gave a great show, with the young leaping up and butting each other like lambs, in the morning sunshine.
Pairs of Crossbills flew here and there, calling, with odd ones in song, but difficult to hear above the Siskins and odd Redpolls. A pair of Buzzards lazily soared over head.
The blanket bog habitat here looks great for plants and I'l be back in the summer to check for Large Heath butterfly and dragonflies. It looks ideal. A new plant for me was this tiny Cranberry. The creeping plants were all over the sphagnum moss, but very few still had berries. I wonder why they are red? Tiny and on the deck, I cant see them being plundered by Fieldfares thats for sure....
On the moor we heard a Gos callng briefly then moving silently into the wood. No luck here then.
So returning to the car, we drove behind the same wood just in case, when bang on cue, a male Goshawk 'butterflied' out and just over the tree tops then over the road.
After stopping the car roadside, it was a scrabble for optics. If I had gone for the camera I might have taken a reasonable shot, it was that close, but I decided to be greedy and grabbed the scope instead. I'm pleased I did, as the bird was banking over into the sunshine where a good amount of detail could be seen instead of the usual distant silhouettes.
The male's flight technique must have worked because a massive female came up to join him in circling for five minutes before she sank back to the forest and he drifted off west. The display scattered hundreds of crows, pigeons and Lapwings to the horizon.
A brilliant show.